July 2007
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Day July 26, 2007


Improv Everywhere’s latest mission

For our latest mission, over 50 redheads rode the subway together and protested a Manhattan Wendy’s for their “racist logo.”

List of Acquired Tastes

From Wikipedia of course:

The following items are considered acquired tastes, particularly by people not from the place where it originates:

Fox Attacks Bloggers

Rapture Ready: The Unauthorized Christians United for Israel Tour

Max Blumenthal gets kicked out of another conference. This one deals with the Christians United for Israel. A group that wants to invade Iran to make Israel safe for the second coming of Christ….. At which point they will turn on the Jews of Israel.


  • Tom DeLay hoping for the apocalypse tomorrow.
  • Miscellaneous xians telling Max that they will pray for him because he is Jewish.
  • How excited the xians get when asked if they’re looking forward to Armageddon.
  • Lieberman’s appearance and praise of Rick Santorum.

If you thought the college republicans were a scary bunch, they have nothing on these christians. Watch how excited they get at the thought of killing muslims. Once again, religion is pulling us back to the Dark Ages.

The Harvard Square Chessmaster

I see the Chessmaster just about every day outside of the Au Bon Pain in front of the Holyoke Center with his setup. The rare times that I see him without an opponent he has his nose in a book about chess.

“Play the Chessmaster, $2” the sign reads. The chess master, as he calls himself, has been a fixture in front of Holyoke Center in Harvard Square ever since 1982, a year before Au Bon Pain arrived. For $2 he takes on all comers, giving them a good advantage in his game of street chess: six minutes for the challenger, and three minutes for the chess master, to complete their game. Most often he wins, as he should, for Murray Turnbull is indeed a master, having reached that certified level in 1981. His current rating, just beneath the 2,400 that designates a senior master (the top category for nationally rated players) puts him in the top 1 percent of all rated players.

Turnbull discovered chess at age 11, but by his own admission didn’t make much progress until five years later, when “I encountered some literature. You have to do a systematic study or you won’t really get anywhere.”

Even later as a student at Harvard, he didn’t get seriously hooked on the game until his third year. After dropping out of school and working briefly as a metal polisher and maker of compressors, Turnbull decided to ply his skill on the street.

(via Universal Hub)


And the Chessmaster on YouTube

What Happened to Us

Dan Perjovschi:

The Museum of Modern Art in New York will present, staring with May 2, an exhibition of the Romanian artist Dan Perjovschi. For his first solo museum exhibition in the United States, the artist will draw witty and incisive political images, in response to current events, on one wall of The Donald B. and Catherine C.Marron Atrium.

(via Panther House)

Robert A. Heinlein’s Legacy

From the Wall Street Journal:

Heinlein brought to his work a unique combination of technical savvy–based largely on the engineering training he’d received at the U.S. Naval Academy and a career in the Navy cut short by tuberculosis in 1934–and a broad knowledge of history and foreign languages. Bemoaning the state of U.S. education in the 1970s, he wrote that “the three-legged stool of understanding is held up by history, languages and mathematics . . . if you lack any one of them you are just another ignorant peasant with dung on your boots.” Heinlein was certainly no ignorant peasant.

Though he later became well known for his anticommunism, Heinlein in the late 1930s indulged in both leftist and isolationist politics. He sold his first science-fiction story in 1939 for $70, “and there was never a chance that I would ever again look for honest work.”

Two O’Clock Trailers – Stripes

Rowling Gives Details on What the Harry Potter Epilogue Left Out

*Danger, Danger, Spoilers Ahead*


If you found the epilogue of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” rather vague, then J.K Rowling achieved her goal.

The author was shooting for “nebulous,” something “poetic.” She wanted the readers to feel as if they were looking at Platform 9¾ through the mist, unable to make out exactly who was there and who was not.

“I do, of course, have that information for you, should you require it,” she told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira rather coyly in her first interview since fans got their hands on the final book.
Ummm … yes, please!

Josh Marshall on Impeachment

A must read article at Talking Points Memo where Josh lucidly discusses the pros and cons of impeachment.

The difference between invoking a flimsy claim of privilege and simply refusing to answer has little immediate practical difference, but it’s constitutional implications are profound.

Though other events in recent months and years have had graver consequences in themselves, I’m not sure I’ve seen a more open, casual or brazen display of the attitude that the body of rules which our whole system is built on just don’t apply to this White House.

Without going into all the specifics, I think we are now moving into a situation where the White House, on various fronts, is openly ignoring the constitution, acting as though not just the law but the constitution itself, which is the fundamental law from which all the statutes gain their force and legitimacy, doesn’t apply to them.

If that is allowed to continue, the defiance will congeal into precedent. And the whole structure of our system of government will be permanently changed.

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